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Afghanistan's First Museum on Soviet Resistance Prepares to Open
April 26, 2010 (Reuters), HERAT: The People's Museum, or Manzar-e Jahad, will open in Herat city next year as the first national museum dedicated to the mujahedeen.
In one large room, Qattali has diligently displayed a huge collection of photographs of other fighters and commanders.
A panoramic plaster-of-Paris figures filled work re-enacting the mujahedeen's triumph over the Russians in the city of Herat serves as the centerpiece.
Rows of Russian rifles, clusters of grenades and an impressive collection of plastic land mines fill glass cases in the museum's foyer.
The gardens of the museum display some of his most prized memorabilia: Russian helicopters, fighter jets and rocket launchers, all captured by the mujahedeen and now framed by well-kept rose bushes. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and propped-up Kabul's communist government until 1989, when the Soviets were overpowered by Afghanistan's armed resistance — known as the mujahedeen — and retreated.
Visitors are welcome to take a tour of the as-of-yet unopened museum’s gardens and unfinished exhibits.
The museum's guestbook contains messages of thanks and admiration from U.S. congressmen, as well as the deputy commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, British Lieutenant General Sir Nick Parker.
Sayed Abdel Wahab Qattali, founder of the museum, was himself a mujahedeen hero in Herat. "The forces that are here now are here to help," Qattali says.